TLDR? San Francisco, Antioquia has some of the best canyoning and rappelling experiences out there.
Are you a daredevil? Want try something a little wilder than hiking around Medellin? Then you should go canyoning at El Tagual in San Francisco!
But how does someone go canyoning? How do you get there? And what else do you need to know? As someone who’s already experienced this adventure, I’ll tell you everything you need to know before heading down to El Tagual.
What is Canyoning?
As you might imagine, this is an extreme sport (such as mountaineering). Although it’s an extreme sport, you don’t need to have any prior experience; the guides on the trip will teach you what you need to know.
Anyone in good physical condition who doesn’t have a problem with heights can go canyoning. Just be prepared to swim, climb, walk, and jump and generally get a workout in to get down the waterfall!
If you’re a beginner, don’t worry; everyone goes at their own pace when it comes to canyoning. You can choose easy low-rise descents if you want to. On the other hand, if you’re already a pro, you can opt to go down 656 feet (200m) high cliffs that take up to six days of canyoning!
Whether you just want to experience some adrenaline on your trip to Medellin or if you want to start in the world of competitive canyoning, El Taguan waterfall is the best place to do it.
How to Prepare
If you want to go canyoning in Medellin, you’ll need to get in touch with an ecotourism agency in Medellin that can rent you all the necessary equipment, teach you how to rappel, and supervise your journey.
I highly recommend Aventura San Francisco. They offer a great adventure plan with reasonable prices and professional guides. There’s also a small discount if you go in a group of seven people or more.
Their program includes transportation and even pictures. It’s also not a bad idea to take the course they offer in Medellin; it’s where they teach you the basics so you can enjoy the trip without risks.
Once you’re ready to go, you’ll need to grab a couple of things. Here’s a list of what to pack for the trip:
Comfortable walking shoes
Water shoes (preferably non-slip)
Sunhat or cap
ID card or valid passport
Snacks (granola bars, candies, etc.)
A waterproof backpack to keep your things dry
Fully charged phone
First aid kit (Unless your guide has one)
I advise you to wear tight-fitting clothes that you can wet and maybe a change of dry clothes to wear after the descent. Loose-fitting clothes aren’t the best idea because they can snag on rocks and tear.
Professionals wear a wetsuit and special water shoes for the activity! However, you’ll be fine with any comfortable sportswear.
In terms of mode of transportation, you’ve got a few options. You can rent a car in Medellin and drive to San Francisco just by taking the Bogota-Medellin highway. Remember to bring some cash for the toll booth in Sanctuary.
You can also take a bus at the North Terminal, box office 15, that goes straight to San Francisco. Alternatively, you can book with Aventura San Francisco like I did and they’ll pick you up from your hotel or Airbnb!
Starting the Hike up El Tagual
If you opt to take a tour out to El Tagual, a truck will pick you up in San Francisco and take you to the La Vega Canyon. Your trip starts with hiking through a beautiful tropical forest until you reach the La Vega stream.
The journey’s personalized, so you can choose to do the beginner’s route, or if you feel like you’re in good shape, you can try the harder one. What matters is that you feel comfortable and take the time you need to move forward.
The tour can last three to four hours, so take small breaks, stop for a snack, and enjoy the view!
You’ll also be able to cool off in one of the many natural pools and marvel at the variety of strange animals and plants you’ll find.
Canyoning at El Tagual Waterfalls
After the hike, you’ll reach the imposing waterfalls you’re supposed to descend. You might get a little freaked out while they install the downhill equipment, but don’t worry; remember what you learned on the course and you’ll be fine.
El Tagual is nothing less than a 278 feet (85m) high waterfall that you’ll descend hanging from a rope. The whole time you’ll be under the care of professionals who’ll tell you how to get off in the best way.
The important thing is that you enjoy the experience to the fullest and have fun swimming and climbing.
After going down, you’ll take a trail back to the village. From there, the truck will pick you up for the return trip to Medellin.
Do You Have What it Takes to go Down the Waterfall?
Daring to try canyoning will be one of the best experiences on your trip to Medellin. The landscapes are marvelous, and the pools are something you won’t forget!
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